It’s very easy to ignore your home’s foundation. It’s hidden in the basement, where many people rarely go, and the rest of the house may appear to be in great condition. However, the foundation is one of the most important parts of the entire home, supporting everything else and giving the house its strength. If there are cracks in the foundation, issues can quickly spread to the rest of the house. A foundation that has been ignored for years–and perhaps decades–is a prime candidate for cracks and everything that goes along with them.
Leaks and Water Issues
The first problem you can have with a cracked foundation is that it may allow water into your basement. Even a small crack lets water seep in consistently, and it only takes a little water to do a lot of damage. Just an inch of standing water on the floor of a finished basement can ruin carpet, carpet pad, drywall, heating and cooling lines, and even low-lying power lines, leading to tens of thousands of dollars in repairs.
Destructive Tree Roots
It’s also important to remember that the reason for the crack could be as important as the crack itself. If a tree was planted too close to the house, the roots could be pushing the foundation apart. This is only going to get worse and worse every year, and you must address both the crack and the tree, which is the exterior cause.
Cracked foundations in Atlanta GA can also be indicators that the house is settling unevenly; one side may be falling more than the other. Since the foundation is brittle, it cracks to allow that side of the house to drop. Downward movement can cause issues all through the house, such as:
. Cracks in the walls.
. Cracked rafters and beams.
. Broken plaster or drywall.
. Uneven floors.
In extreme cases, you could even have issues with your pipes, gas lines, and windows. If the house settles too far, the home could become unstable.
Signs of Major Issues
To know if the crack in your foundation is a major issue or not, check to see how big it is. A crack that is over a quarter inch across is serious, as are cracks near bulging walls. Furthermore, horizontal cracks are the worst thing you can find in the basement, and they may mean your entire foundation has to be torn out and replaced.